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Looking for wineries & scenic drive from DC to Charlottesville

Well, we ended up deciding to fly into Richmond and spend the night there before heading out the next day. Our flight gets in early evening, and we decided to relax & spend a night there, have a good dinner, then drive on the next morning. So I'm revising my request! Now I need a scenic route/winery/restaurant for lunch stops from Richmond to Keswick Hall! And recommendations for a dinner restaurant in Richmond on a Wednesday night. Maybe I should start a new post.

What bakery in Houston sells the best Tres Leche cake?

Believe it or not, Ruggles Bakery in the Village

Sep 06, 2013
mimi777 in Houston

I'm shocked, not a mention of Houston's Restaurant Week (month) visits

I have to say, this is the first time I've been disenchanted with our Restaurant Week experiences. Last two summers we had great experiences. We found that the quality seemed compromised this go round. Started at Brenner's on the Bayou, which we frequent (at least for meals in the bar) because it's close to home. While the menu selections were appealing, the food didn't really deliver. Everything seemed skimpy and a little lackluster. Maybe we are harsh critics because we are regulars?

Next we tried Mo's, which I loved last August. This time, the service was equally great, buy my short ribs fell way short, no pun intended. My husband did love his steak, though. And the people watching is awesome.

Next was Indika, tried and true in our book. This one lived up to it's reputation. Dinner was awesome, in every respect. Again, maybe because we are regulars from when it was born in our neck of the woods, but I don't think so. Anita just really delivered on consistency with her food and didn't compromise at all for Restaurant Week.

We tried to do triniti for lunch, but when we arrived they were closed. I have since received notice that they are now only open for lunch on Fridays. Bummer, because that place rocks. Truly was one of my favorite lunch spots in Houston, either for a romantic midweek lunch with the hubs or for a girls' lunch. Which leaves me with da marco to move up to first place now in the lunch category.

Anyway, I love love love the concept of HRW, but I really thought it fell short this year, with a few exceptions.

Sep 06, 2013
mimi777 in Houston

Looking for wineries & scenic drive from DC to Charlottesville

We are flying into Dulles on a Wednesday in November and spending one night in DC before heading to Keswick Hall for 3 nights. I am trying to figure out a scenic drive (even if it takes a little longer) from DC to Keswick Hall where we could make a few stops at wineries, views, or some other point of interest on the way. We can't check in the hotel Thursday until 4:00 anyway, so may as well enjoy the leisurely trip there.

Also looking for a nice DC hotel that's easy to drive out of the next day.

Last night in Rome- special dinner with kids?

It is for August 2nd. Pierluigi looks fantastic- should we request to sit inside or out? Is it really hot at night (we will probably book an early time). Also any recommendations for a 5 star hotel nearby there? I am about to cancel my reservation with Hotel Splendide Royale because they will not respond to any of my emails.

Jul 08, 2013
mimi777 in Italy

Last night in Rome- special dinner with kids?

We'd like to take our two girls, ages 9 & 11, to a special dinner our last night in Rome (we'll have been in Tuscany the week prior). Something that will feel "special occasion" to them where they can dress up a little bit, but not too gourmet or adult, as after all, they're kids! Any recommendations? Some place with great food (but doesn't need to be fancy) and memorable atmosphere to close out our family trip would be great. Grazie in advance!

Jul 05, 2013
mimi777 in Italy

Where to eat dinner before Monuments by Moonlight trolley tour (departs Union Station)?

We'll be in D.C. for our Spring Break with our kids (ages 9 & 11) and are looking for a place to eat dinner before the monuments at night tour. It departs Union Station, but not knowing D.C. at all, I don't know if we should try to eat nearby there, or some other area close by, or just wherever we want and then cab it over by 7:00. This is for Saturday night, and we don't want fast food. Doesn't have to be fancy by any means, but definitely would like to sit down, have a glass of wine. We're staying at the Park Hyatt if that helps.

Also, I'm looking for somewhere to have an early dinner Sunday after a late afternoon tour of the National Cathedral.

Innovative San Antonio cuisine?

My husband & I are going to San Antonio from Houston for a quick local weekend getaway. Staying at Mokara (I think, unless someone has a better rec). Obviously, we have plenty of tex mex here at home, so we're really looking for some suggestions for dinner options that feature innovative chefs or cuisine. Houston is brimming with new trendy restaurants right now (e.g., Uchi, triniti, Underbelly, Roost), which we've had fun trying all summer, so we'd love to try something along those lines in S.A. Breakfast & lunch recommendations would be appreciated as well (probably mexican breakfast).

Thanks!

Jul 23, 2012
mimi777 in Texas

Where to eat lunch between Oakland Airport & Napa?

I know this question is an offshoot, but mapquest is giving me three options to drive to Napa from Oakland Airport: (1) I-80 & CA -29 N, (2) CA-29 N, & (3) I-580 W. It shows the first option as being the fastest. Is that right?

What is a "hearty red wine" in cooking?

I am making braised lamb shanks & the recipe calls for a hearty red wine. I'm not a red wine drinker, so I'm not sure what that means. Any suggestions?

Jan 27, 2012
mimi777 in Wine

What wine to use in cooking lamb shanks?

I am making an Anne Burrell recipe for braised lamb shanks, and it calls for 2 cups of "hearty red wine". I'm not a red wine girl, so I'm not sure what the best type of wine would be for that. Any suggestions?

Jan 27, 2012
mimi777 in Home Cooking

Chinese New Year- Dragon Dance restaurants?

Does anyone know of any chinese restaurants in the area doing a special Chinese New Year dinner with dragon dancing? I know Fung's Kitchen does, but I'm wondering if anywhere else has a good one that is kid friendly.

Jan 22, 2012
mimi777 in Houston

Where to eat lunch between Oakland Airport & Napa?

Thanks everyone! I think we'll probably grab something on the run as suggested by many of you in lieu of a sit-down lunch. We wanted to get to our destination as quickly as possible & frankly, having just had my car broken into & my purse stolen at the park here in Houston last week, I am more than a little nervous about leaving anything in a car these days.

Where to eat lunch between Oakland Airport & Napa?

I'm looking for a lunch recommendation to kick off our long weekend. Our plane lands in Oakland at 1:15 p.m. on a Thursday, then we'll rent a car & drive to Napa Valley (Yountville). We'd prefer something in Oakland, since we'll probably be hungry, plus we have dinner reservations in Napa so we don't want to eat lunch too late. Also, we don't want too venture TOO far out of our way and add on alot of drive time, so I'm hoping someone can help me with that since we don't know the area. Thanks in advance!

40th Bday Dinner in Santa Fe?

We're going in early January on a long weekend to Santa Fe (couples' trip) for my 40th birthday. Any recommendations for the big birthday dinner Saturday night? It will probably be about 10-12 people. I have thought of Geronimo, Compound, Coyote Cafe, but I have only visited Santa Fe once several years ago, and really don't have a great feel for where would be the best spot. Great food is obviously important, but atmosphere is equally important. My husband will be hosting this dinner.

I'm also looking for recommendations for a fun group dinner that Friday night, perhaps a bit more casual/laid back than the Saturday night event. I figure we're going to have to go somewhere that accepts reservations, because I assume it will otherwise be tough to wander up unannounced with a group that large on a Friday night. In any event, I want Friday's dinner to be FUN.

Would love some recommendations for casual lunch while out shopping, kicking around town as well.

Thanks!

Nov 08, 2011
mimi777 in Southwest

Recommendations for Eze, Antibes, Collioure

We are spending a night pre-cruise in Eze at the Chevre d'Or, but I am afraid we'll be too jet-lagged to appreciate a gourmet multi-course meal that night. Any recommendations for a more casual restaurant for dinner, but within walking distance of the hotel? We can try the hotel for lunch the following day (or Chateau Eza).

We also need good lunch recommendations for Antibes & Collioure, preferably atmospheric, nice place to enjoy a little wine with lunch before going back to the ship...

Sep 26, 2011
mimi777 in France

St. Tropez dinner recommendations?

We will be on a cruise and have one day and evening in St. Tropez on October 20th (a Thursday). The ship leaves at 11 p.m. so we have to be back to the boat by 10:00 p.m. I made a reservation at Spoon at the Hotel Byblos, but they don't open until 8:30 and I'm nervous that's not going to give us enough time to dine & get back to the boat. Is that unfounded? And does anyone have any other recommendations on a great St. Tropez dinner as well as some lunch suggestions? Not sure if we'll be there at lunchtime yet or not, we might rent a car and go explore the neighboring areas.

Sep 19, 2011
mimi777 in France

Monday night in Barcelona- ship leaves at 11:00 p.m.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I did get a reservation at Alkimia, but they don't open until 8:30. It seems like one hour isn't going to be enough time for dinner there from what I gather? The reason we aren't doing out "big" meal at lunch is that because we have such limited time in Barcelona, we want to really max out our sightseeing time that day, so we're just planning on a quick bite somewhere.

Sep 19, 2011
mimi777 in Spain/Portugal

Monday night in Barcelona- ship leaves at 11:00 p.m.

We are on a cruise in October and have one day and evening in Barcelona. We have to be back on the boat by 10:00 p.m. We'd like to have a great dinner, but lots of "big name" places seem to be closed on Monday nights. Of the ones that are open, I'm worried that the tasting menu type of drill might take too long for us to make it back to the cruise port by 10:00 (since nothing seems to open before 8:00 p.m.). I also thought about Cap Pep as an alternative type of evening, but I don't love the idea of getting in line 45 minutes before they open. Any suggestions?

Sep 18, 2011
mimi777 in Spain/Portugal

Lunch options in Georgetown?

My husband & I will be in town for a long weekend, & are staying in the Georgetown area. What are some good late lunch options to start off our getaway for the Thursday we arrive? Thanks!

Best sushi with a little bit of scene?

Where is the best place to get sushi, but that also has a pretty upscale & good scene? I realize the two don't always go together, but while the quality of the sushi is very important, I need a great "Saturday night" place to go out & take a friend.

Best Tex-Mex in Houston area

Ninfa's on Navigation is my favorite, followed by Molina's (any location) for straight tex-mex. For what I call "greasy mexican slop", which is my personal favorite variety of tex-mex, I love La Fiesta (Bunker Hill & I-10, or a little further west down I-10, or the one on Westheimer).

Oct 08, 2007
mimi777 in Texas

Rasika or Indebleu?

I'll be spending a long weekend in D.C., & both Rasika & Indebleu look appealing. Are they in fact similar, and if so, which is better?